Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of First Lady Melania Trump, have been sworn in as United States citizens, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The couple, who had been living in the U.S. as permanent residents, took the oath of citizenship in New York City, their lawyer said.
Just months ago, on May 2, the couple was seen at a federal building in New York with their immigration attorney, Michael Wildes. They had no comment at the time, but the building where they were spotted holds offices where federal immigration officials process applications for citizenship.
Back in February, the Washington Post reported Melania's parents had become legal permanent residents, had obtained green cards, and were awaiting scheduling for their naturalization oath. Their immigration process was under scrutiny, as President Trump has been cracking down on immigration through his policies.
It’s unclear when they obtained their green cards, but usually, permanent residents have to hold green cards for five years before applying for citizenship. By 2007, Viktor Knavs reportedly listed his residence as Mar-a-Lago in Florida. President Trump has decried the policy that allows U.S. citizens to sponsor their parents and siblings for legal residency. Opponents of the process call it “chain migration,” but Melania Trump may have used the policy to sponsor her parents.
The couple met in Sevnica, Slovenia in 1966, and Melania was born in the same town. They made their first trip to America in 2004. Viktor and Amalija are reportedly “hyperinvolved” in Barron Trump’s life, and attend events at the White House regularly.
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